America’s Bridges Are Falling Down

Across the nation, people are coming to realize a clear and undeniable truth: America’s bridges are deteriorating. This issue was starkly highlighted by the collapse of the Baltimore Key Bridge on March 26, resulting from a maritime vessel striking one of its pillars. Tragically, six lives were lost in the incident, which also disrupted a crucial port for cargo transportation.

According to The Duquesne Duke, this accident underscores the need for comprehensive and bipartisan policy changes to how transportation infrastructure in our country is maintained and serviced. According to the Associated Press, about 42,000 bridges in the U.S. are in “poor” condition as defined by the National Transportation Safety Board. This is 42,000 bridges too many.

Pittsburghers are not strangers to failing infrastructure. Who can forget the infamous Greenfield Bridge under which a second, smaller bridge had to be built to prevent crumbling concrete from smashing windshields on I-376 below?`

How about the Fern Hollow Bridge, which collapsed in 2022 due to structural integrity issues? The event attracted national attention when President Joe Biden stopped at the site to promote his bipartisan “Build Back Better” legislation.

After the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed, the National Transportation and Safety Board chair promised that with “diligent attention to inspection, maintenance and repair” our nation’s infrastructure would improve.

Since the chairperson’s comment, four bridges have collapsed, one of the worst train derailments to ever occur rocked the town of East Palestine, Ohio and the state of our nation’s highways and roads has continued to worsen.

2021 ended with a “C-” for the United States’ infrastructure rating according to the American Society of Civil Engineers four year report. To put it bluntly, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board are failing.

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